From: Patti on 15 Feb 2010 10:25
The last time I worked on my 1985 XL600R was about 5 years ago - at that
time it would start with a lot of effort, but wouldn't stay running
reliably. Someone on this forum suggested going through the Clymer or
Haynes manuals' trouble-shooting section, and I could have SWORN I did
and that the last thing to check in the trouble-shooting tree (assuming
good spark, fuel, etc.) was the kill switch.
I just sold it to a co-worker who wants to get it running, and he says
he measured the kill switch as being shorted irrespective of the
position it was in. (so to me that means the kill switch must have been
the culprit - how often do 2 things go wrong at the same time?)
Meanwhile, neither the Clymer or Haynes manuals even *mention* the kill
switch, nor show it on the wiring diagrams. (Did I dream the
kill-switch thing in the trouble-shooting tree?) He finally found a
schematic online that shows the kill switch, and it should be *open* to
run, so he just cut the wires.
When I was trouble-shooting 5 years ago, I had the head done (new valve
seals, new cam, re-seating the valves, new timing chain), replaced the
pulser, CDI unit, and rebuilt the carbs - but danged if the thing still
won't run reliably. The guy I sold it to checked the rectifier and
tells me it's not got continuity as it should (according to manual) -
but that's the *one* part they don't make any more. It does have a
spark, so is the rectifier really necessary? I didn't disassemble the
bottom-end when I did the head/pulser, so the timing should still be
Can anyone help please? It used to run really sweet and was easy to
start until this problem developed. I see the factory manuals are $50
on ebay for that model year. I may have seen the kill-switch in the
trouble-shooting section of one of those then lost it (???)
From: Joe Rooney on 15 Feb 2010 15:02
"Patti" <miche1(a)earthlink.net> wrote in message
> The last time I worked on my 1985 XL600R was about 5 years ago - at that
> time it would start with a lot of effort, but wouldn't stay running
> Meanwhile, neither the Clymer or Haynes manuals even *mention* the kill
When I was trouble-shooting 5 years ago, I had the head done (new valve
> seals, new cam, re-seating the valves, new timing chain), replaced the
> pulser, CDI unit, and rebuilt the carbs - but danged if the thing still
> won't run reliably. The guy I sold it to checked the rectifier and
> tells me it's not got continuity as it should (according to manual) -
> Can anyone help please? It used to run really sweet and was easy to
> start until this problem developed. I see the factory manuals are $50
> on ebay for that model year. I may have seen the kill-switch in the
> trouble-shooting section of one of those then lost it (???)
Could you elaborate on not runnming reliably? Is it a rough idle? Is is
conking out whether hot or cold?
I've got an 87, with the service manual and a few spare carburetor parts and
filters. Right now, I've had it for about 15 years (29k miles) and it had
the head and timing chain, valves replaced when it had about 11k miles.
The last problem I had that drove me nuts was an intermittent push on gound
for the ignition electronics. It was a spade lug that grounded the coil and
CDI unit and it would wobble loose when ever it felt like it, then
reconnected itself when I would go looking for it.
I also took some waveform pictures of the alternator output that runs the
CDI (used my Fluke 97, removed spark plug and kicked it) and you could see
an occasional collapse of the alternator when the ground would disconnect.
Also got pictures of the CDI output and the trigger signal.
Lastly, I always advance the idle screw when the thing is cold, maybe 3/4 of
a turn and also advance the enrichener a bit and it takes, depending on when
it was last started, either one to five kicks.
When it is hot, well, they tell me to adjust the valves, but it can take ten
to fifteen kicks to get it to fire.
I'm in Santa Clara, California, if you are nearby, I would offer Mike Baxter
From: SloCalSpode on 15 Feb 2010 19:53
I too would be interested in some elaboration on how it,
is/is not, running.
Has it run since the cam was replaced? Possibly off by one
tooth on the cam sprocket?
I got my '85 XL350R from a friend at work. It had sat in an
open air garage for 5-6 years before I bought it with ~8,000mi.
Mine would start after 5-6 kicks, but, would run rough at
idle. I tore damn near every part off the bike and replaced
it with a new one. Only to be rewarded with the same rough
idle and poor performance.
Like your bike. I finally pulled the head to find two of the
valve seats were chipped and it did not have much compression.
Complete head re-build by XRSonly. Put it back together and
it started (more or less) first kick...but.... from 1/3 throttle
to 3/4 throttle it spit, cough and sputtered like an
asthmatic old man.
Long story short. After pulling the (twin carbs) off 12 times.
Cleaning and soaking them over and over. I finally used some
compressed air to blow through the orifices. I was rewarded
with a 'pop' when I blew air through the passage for the
emulsifier tube to the main jet. (on the primary carb. btw)
What was happening was raw gas was being drawing up past the
main jet and slide needle and not being atomized by air being
drawn past the emulsifier tube. This is the tube with holes
in it that the main jet screws into.
Once the carb was clean the bike is a "first kick starter"
Either hot or cold. Without using the choke. As long as you
follow the correct (4-stroke starting drill). very important.
Bring piston to top dead center on compression stroke. Ease it
just past TDC. Bring the kick start lever to the top and push
all the way through the stroke like you mean it.
I am sure with a little more information. Someone here can
get you headed in the right direction.
Good luck, Jeff So. Cal.
"Joe Rooney" wrote:
> Could you elaborate on not runnming reliably?
> Is it a rough idle? Is is conking out whether
> hot or cold?
> Joe Rooney
From: Dean H on 16 Feb 2010 09:20
> This one gives an end result of open line (no continuity) but only
> after flashing another result briefly. I wonder if we're testing them
> right. I don't know what this gizmo really does on a theory or
> practice level.
or if the engine runs...
You just need an accurate voltage meter.
Connect the meter to the poles of the battery. Start the engine and
avoid spinning her up, even not for a short moment. The reading of the
meter now can be anything; a reading lower than 12.6 volt indicates a
Slowly increase the engine speed. The meter reading should increase
too, but will get "catched" at an engine speed somewhere at 1000 rpm.
(8001200) From then on the reading will stay "locked". It should be
13.8V; 0.5V higher or lower is the limit of what is acceptable. A
voltage too high is NOT good: it will ruin your battery and wear out
bulbs and other equipment!
A voltage regulator is good when the reading hardly reacts to change
of engine speed or to adding power consumers like electric window
heaters or main headlights. "
"Note: There are comments associated with this question. See the
discussion page to add to the conversation."
From: Dean H on 16 Feb 2010 18:24
> The guy I sold it to checked the rectifier and
> > tells me it's not got continuity as it should (according to manual) -
> > but that's the *one* part they don't make any more. It does have a
> > spark, so is the rectifier really necessary?
> Google is killing me here tonight.
> I'll try this response for the third time.
> I have the part here if it's part 6 in the
> Electrical - Wiring Diagram found here:http://www.bikebandit.com/houseofmotorcycles/1985-honda-motorcycle-xr...
Of course that part is a regulator, not a rectifier. The XL500R parts
bike has a regulator/rectifier, but I did not see one on your subject